Professor Benyousky — A Legacy of Literature

By Hannah Imel

Artist Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Normality is a paved road; it’s comfortable to walk on, but no flowers grow in it.” Professor Frank Benyousky is one of those rare individuals who knows how to guide students down the less-traveled paths. His classes have encouraged students to explore and expand their world. After 32 years of teaching literature classes, Benyousky has helped to shape the lives of hundreds of students.

“I knew I wanted to teach,” Benyousky said. “I worked for four years in public relations, but I wasn’t entirely happy with it.” So he “sent out a mass-mailing of resumes,” and made the decision to journey from sunny California to Grace College. “My wife and I learned that there were some Midwest assumptions about California and Hollywood,” Benyousky recalls. “But overall, I think we’ve had good relationships.”

“I knew that I wanted to do something with literature,” Benyousky stated. “It’s always moved me.” His love of literature is perhaps one of the most valuable gifts he has shared with his students.

Throughout his years at Grace College, he has had many adventures and misadventures, including trips to Canada to view Shakespearean plays.

Professor Benyousky also has had a positive impact outside of the classroom.  His involvement in state prisons has given many a second chance. “When I first started with the prison ministry, there were about 10 people involved. I was in charge of it for 15 years, and it grew to over 300 students. We handed out bachelor’s degrees regularly.”

Although Professor Benyousky is preparing to retire, he is by no means preparing to leave the world of literature. His adventures will continue as he reads, writes, travels with his wife, and perhaps teaches literature part-time at Grace College.